Yesterday was my sixtieth birthday, I was having a depressing day, until we went to the Northumberland County Show. We walked there as we live near to its new home in Bywell. There were cars everywhere, people abandon cars, BMWs at that, in some ridiculous places. Anyway, it was £12 to get in, but I only paid £8. They had a concessionary rate for – OAPs! Unbelievable, I saved £4 just for being old. Sadly though the woman selling the tickets just accepted it, she took one look at me and made no comment, no ‘Sorry you have to be over 60’ or ‘You can’t be 60’, just acceptance. Oh well I still have the £4, I’m not complaining. It’s my first perk.
I’m now too old to die young. I’ll get emails from Saga Holidays. I’ll be able to get free NHS prescriptions. People will start to offer me their seat on a crowded train, well maybe. I’ll get 10% off every Tuesday at B&Q. The postman will bring me fliers for cut price funeral plans. I’ll have to start going to the Chiropractor again. I’m eligible to buy a Senior Railcard. Michael Parkinson will send me a free Parker pen. I’ll forget where I left my headphones.
Not good. It’s a sad reminder that we are only going in one direction. We can not turn back time, only make the best of what we have.
We had already decided to end the day with a nice meal out. We booked a table for four, us and Nick’s girlfriend Katy, at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse at Hotel Indigo, Newcastle. We’ve been twice before and had good meals. Not so good last night. When I pay £25 for a sirloin steak I expect it to be good, it wasn’t. I ordered it medium rare, it was rare, so it was cold, it had too much waste and too little flavour, it fact it was tasteless. The service was adequate at best, they were having a quiet night, it was a Monday even though it was a bank holiday, the staff were okay, but inattentive. No one asked if we had enjoyed our meals or thanked us for our custom. I shall not be going there again. But when you get to my age, most meals out are behind you anyway, and as other restaurants are available, we will be going somewhere else next time. Too many restaurants, too little time.
Two of my friends who were younger than me are already dead, but my Mum is 87, my Dad is 92, Helen’s Grandad is 105, but I can’t see beyond 60. I’m amazed I’ve made it this far to be honest, perhaps having lost a few pounds in weight recently has saved my life. Perhaps I have a few more years left, perhaps I can grow even older in the sunshine, so not in Northumberland obviously. So a note to Nick and Katy who last night could not comprehend what it was like to be as old as 60, beware it happens to us all and quite quickly too. I can remember doing my first show for BBC Radio Merseyside back in 1977 it seems like only yesterday, but was in reality a lifetime ago.
I’ll never work for the BBC again, I’ll never skydive again, I’ll never go down the big slide at a water park again and I’ll never be young again. Damn it.